Otaki kite festival takes flight

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 12:05 18/01/2013
Otaki kite maker
Creative kites: Otaki kite-maker Yvonne de Mille with one of her kites.

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Kites of every shape and colour will fill Otaki's skies for the first Otaki Festival of the Wind in March.

Held on Otaki Beach, the festival will include kites designed by world renowned kite-maker Peter Lynn from Ashburton.

Workshops will also be available for those wanting to try their hand at kite-making in the weeks leading up to the event.

Festival organiser Yvonne de Mille has been making and flying kites for 25 years, but was only introduced to the craft in her 30s.

''I grew up in England and people weren't quite so outdoorsy in England as they are in New Zealand,'' she said.

''I was about 30 before I flew a kite. I thought it was magic. This inanimate object seemed to take on a life of it's own.''

Ms de Mille has a passion for painting, sculpture, printing and making fabrics, which gave her a step up in the kite flying world.

During the last 28 years she has organised five international kite festivals in Christchurch, and has been sponsored to fly her designs in festivals in Dubai, Malaysia, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

A member of the Otaki Village Promotions Group, Ms de Mille hopes the festival will offer a fun day out for families, while showing off the Otaki area.

''It's got such a great beach for kite flying and kite surfing and people who use those buggies. It's a golden opportunity really, to host a festival.''

Ms de Mille will offer kite-making workshops in the weeks leading up to the festival.

The festival will include kite flying contests, food stalls and wind sculptures.
''I really would like to bring wonder to children's lives and I think kites definitely do that. They kind of light up like a stained glass window hanging up in the sky.'' futag
 Festival of the Wind, March 8 to 10, 10am - 4pm, Otaki Beach.

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